Indiana University Indiana University IU

Culture Karamojong
Title Headdress
Date Ca. 1945
Medium Fiber, hair, pigment, clay, and and feathers
Dimensions Object: 7 1/2 × 12 3/8 × 16 in. (19.1 × 31.4 × 40.6 cm)
Overall (includes mount): 16 7/8 × 12 3/8 × 16 in. (42.9 × 31.4 × 40.6 cm)
Credit Line Museum Purchase with Funds from the Class of 1949 Endowed Curatorship for the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 2009.1

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About this Work

East African pastoralists in the Karamoja area of Uganda and northwestern Kenya have a long tradition of elaborate coiffures. Since at least the beginning of the twentieth century, an increasing number of men wore removable hair caps such as this that allowed them to dress appropriately for ritual and other important occasions while maintaining short, carefree hair for daily wear. However, when Idi Amin seized power and became the Ugandan head of state in 1971, the wearing of traditional dress, including hair caps, was punished, leading to their decline.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

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"Headdress | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.